The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has been making significant strides in the space economy sector under the visionary leadership of the country. The UAE has placed the space industry among its top priorities for the next fifty years and spent AED22 billion commercially on space-related activities between 2015 and 2020. This has contributed to the country’s global competitiveness and the diversification of its economy based on knowledge and innovation.
To achieve these goals, the UAE has announced several strategies and plans that consolidate the tasks and missions of the space sector. This journey continued with the Emirati astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi taking part in the longest Arab space mission, making the UAE the 11th country to send an astronaut on a long-term mission to space.
The UAE Space Agency has developed the “Space Economic Zones Programme” to support space startups and SMEs to contribute to the national space economy. This programme aims to create an attractive and integrated business environment to meet local and international needs, enhance the competitiveness of companies operating in the space economy, stimulate innovation, and grow the sector’s economic contribution to the country’s non-oil GDP.
The UAE Space Agency launched the “Space Economic Survey 2022” in partnership with the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Centre (FCSC). The survey measures how the space sector has contributed to the national economy and focuses on the number of companies working in the sector, foreign investment, the total spending on space projects, efforts to invest in research and development, space exploration, and the number of people employed in the sector.
The UAE launched the National Plan for the Promotion of Space Investment in 2019 to increase domestic and foreign investment in the UAE space sector. This initiative promises to transform the nation into a regional hub for commercial space activities and advanced research and development. It also aims to encourage local investment vehicles to consider funding opportunities in the space sector, both domestically and globally.
The UAE has continued to prioritize the space economy sector for diversification and growth. The contractual agreements for space services and applications increased by 40 percent in 2020, according to the UAE Space Agency. Last year, the UAE launched the National Space Fund, an AED3 billion fund from the UAE Space Agency. It will support ground-breaking programmes that support international and Emirati companies co-operating in space sector engineering, sciences, and research applications.
The UAE has been making tremendous efforts in developing the space economy sector to contribute to its national economy. The country has achieved significant milestones, including launching satellites into orbit, sending an astronaut into space, and partnering with other countries to achieve common goals. The space sector is a critical driver of innovation and economic growth in the UAE, with the potential to create thousands of jobs, attract investment, and drive technological advancements.
The UAE’s investment in the space economy sector is part of the country’s vision to diversify its economy and reduce its reliance on oil revenues. The country aims to build a knowledge-based economy that promotes innovation, entrepreneurship, and technological advancements. The UAE has set ambitious goals for the space economy sector, with plans to send an unmanned mission to Mars by 2024 and establish a human settlement on the Red Planet by 2117.
The UAE’s continuous efforts to prioritize the space economy sector are paying off, with significant accomplishments achieved in recent years. The country has demonstrated its commitment to developing the sector and its potential to contribute to the national economy. The UAE’s leadership has set ambitious goals for the future, and it is expected that the country will continue to make significant strides in the space economy sector in the years to come.